CeliacNet: Celiac Primer

After Diagnosis

There is no cure for CD or DH. The only treatment currently available is the gluten-free diet. This must be strictly maintained for the celiac's entire life. There is no cheating on this diet. For symptomatic celiacs, the choice is simple: eat gluten-free or feel sick. For those without symptoms, it can be harder to stay motivated, but it is just as important. Once on the diet, the intestine will begin to heal. As long as contamination is avoided, the body will continue to heal and return to health. In time, the increased mortality rate also returns to normal.

When first diagnosed, it is crucial that a celiac receive adequate information and support. Seeing a nutritionist who understands celiac disease and joining a support group are both good first steps. The nutritionist can help the patient understand the special challenges involved in maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle. Meeting other celiacs helps the newly-diagnosed celiac feel less alone. There are a lot of celiacs out there and because of the Internet, it's much easier to get in touch with them.

If you're interested in participating in research about celiac disease, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center has a list of current trials. One such trial is the genetic epidemiology study at City of Hope. You must be biopsy-diagnosed to qualify, the blood tests are free, and if there is a lot of CD in your family, some of your relatives may qualify for free testing.

The resources on this site and others aim to help celiacs, new and old. The gluten-free diet may seem impossible at first, but it's not. And it's worth it. To help get started shopping, check out the product lists on this site, and see the list below. It includes the names of companies that declare in their ingredient lists any sources of gluten. I have not included subsidiary companies, as this policy is company-wide.

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